Deep Adaptation is just a dumped down liberal version of Desert

Submitted by Mango in Anarchism

Reading the paper of Deep Adaptation and realized that they are saying exactly the same shit that anarchists have been telling the world for decades. Moreover, Deep Adaptation literally calling for liberal solutions, such as shutting down power plant with government authority, ironically while basically the whole topic is saying that the end is nigh and doing something ain't working.

Desert was written almost a decade ago (2011), with detailed points and examples that the world is fucked beyond fixing, but also pointed out the exact problems of mass movement and anarchist's so-called progress. It predicted movements like Earth Strike and Extinction Rebellion doing absolutely nothing, and that the entire left movement was built upon the delusion of hope.

Given our obvious inability to re-make the entire world the way we might like it to be, some replace the myth of ‘global revolution’ with a belief in imminent ‘global collapse’ — these days usually some mix of climate change and peak oil. As we shall see later (both in the next chapters and our future years) global heating will severely challenge civilisation in some areas and probably vanquish it in others. Yet in some regions it will likely open up possibilities for the spread of civilisations rule. Some lands may remain (relatively) temperate — climatically and socially. As for civilisation, so for anarchy and anarchists — severely challenged, sometimes vanquished; possibilities for liberty and wildness opening up, possibilities for liberty and wildness closing. The unevenness of the present will be made more so. There is no global future.


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fjones wrote

Thank you for posting this. I sent some small notes to A-news last week called Post-Collapse Anarchism, which they didn't touch and of course they don't respond: I didn't know Desert existed and I'm on it. Thank you again.

Notes on Post-Collapse Anarchism

  • Rather than speculate on the future, its worth a look at our recent history to see how anarchists might respond to climate disaster.

  • Two Cambridge University analysts (among many others) are convinced that society will not be able to change quickly enough to avoid collapse due to climate change. Thus, both of them are saying we should prepare for a Post-Collapse humanity, opening the door for Post-Collapse Anarchism.

  • Most of the scenarios should be familiar to anarchists who've attended EF roundups and say, Rhizome Collective lectures & the RUST book, etc. In many ways, anarchists are more prepared than most people for life without infrastructure, finance, consumerism, etc. So it would seem there are possibilities for liberation to be explored.

  • But one would expect the most suffering to be distributed downward, to the already struggling, already without infrastructure, medicine, food, clean water, etc. How many Puerto Rico's and Haiti's, favelas and barrios? The affinity group returns as an essential practice. It would be no surprise to see the rad-right fascists become more violent and predatory. But there will be more of us now.

  • The self-exiled anarchists who went to the PNW to crop farm can become relevant again in their willingness to teach food production when there's a lot of human labor power and no gasoline. Climate change there however has been an increase in heat and a drop in rainfall, also sea-level rise. Still liveable? Prolly. More permaculture?

  • One thing seems pretty obvious, the police and first responders will be weakened and so blockades and squats may last longer and become viable alternatives again.
    The street medic trainings given occasionally usually have workshops on plant medicine, first aid and mental health care. It seems we'll need all our knowledge of how to take care of ourselves and each other. (self-defense?)

  • The little rays of joy provided by art and music seem especially important then. An unplugged crust punk? I can't wait. Flute and drum making? Bring it! Plant- based pigment and seed-oil paint? I'm breathless. Living Theatre written large. Art without the commodity-world seems life-giving again!!!

  • We may get another chance to ruin the state, or at least to diffuse it in its infancy. In this we seem allied with the earth, water and animals versus the psychopathic state of Dick Cheney, Halliburton and Hillary Clinton. How to guarantee we've removed them from our own heads?

  • Another likelihood is the refusal of a servant class (caste), and so it seems some more liberation is possible. Will the wealthy have their paid lackeys? Yes and their professors, only without tenure! But its impossible to see how they'll last.

  • What will happen to indigenous authority when the borders can no longer be policed? Another Iroquois Confederacy? Can there not be an Anarchist Confederacy? Positive human relationships become revolutionary then!

  • The virility of life and death issues appear minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. What is called the Extinction Rebellion, whose 2nd letter was signed by Noam Chomsky seems like a non-violent response to collapse. Ward Churchill wasn't asked to sign.

  • Where will you be, comrade? Will i recognize you in your wild smile? Firebearer!

Links to the Cambridge academics:


Extinction Rebellion:

Radical Urban Sustainability Training (RUST):


TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

Desert has huge impact on how I see the world. I'm happy/horrified with how relevant it's stayed.


Mango OP wrote

Desert is my Bible for guiding me into the uncertainty. I printed out the paper version for personal reading.


Mango OP wrote

IMO, Desert is the most important anarchist literature in all time.